Three years after the suicide of Mark Linkous, a tribute album to Sparklehorse is being produced to honor his memory. Titled Last Box of Sparklers, the album is a project of Box of Stars, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of mental health issues.
An impressive lineup has been assembled for the tribute, with recordings already contributed by the Flaming Lips, Mark Lanegan, Mercury Rev, Cowboy Junkies, Califone, Brent Haviland and Phantogram, among others. Box of Stars says that The Joy Formidable, Jason Lytle of Grandaddy and Portugal. the Man have also signed up and are waiting to record. Some of the contributing artists will participate in a PSA campaign by the organization to fight the stigma of mental illness.
According to the project's website, after Box of Stars co-founder Jessica Richardson first started spreading word of the album, she found out that Flaming Lips and MGMT producer Dave Fridmann was already working on a Mark Linkous tribute with Marc Fuller from Edie Road Studio. Richardson says that they decided to join forces, so Fridmann and Fuller handed over the tracks they had already completed for Box of Stars to use. Fridmann will be mastering the entire collection.
Box of Stars has set up a campaign on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo to raise money for the album's completion and its media campaign. Of the $50,000 the organization is seeking, more than $15,000 has been raised so far, with 11 days left to go. The funds will be used to finish the recording (which Box of Stars says is now three-quarters complete), design and press the CDs and vinyl, promote the album's message and build an archive of personal stories about mental health for the Box of Stars website and its YouTube channel. They will also be used to create some of the perks offered to donors, including CD box sets, t-shirts, signed items from participating artists and private concerts.